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Certain Dry Foods Are Good Past Their Best-before Date, Food Scientists Say
Science Daily ^ | 2-1-2007

Posted on 01/13/2008 2:47:05 PM PST by blam

Certain Dry Foods Are Good Past Their Best-before Date, Food Scientists Say

February 1, 2007 — Some low-moisture foods such as dried apples can be safe to eat even years after their expiration date, if properly stored, food chemists say. They verified this in a tasting experiment of 28-year-old rolled oats. Heat, moisture and light can degrade food's nutritional value.

The next time you find forgotten food in the pantry, don't just toss it. Keeping food past its expiration date may not seem like a good idea, but certain foods last a lot longer than you think -- years longer.

Food scientists now know that, when properly sealed, some dried food that's been sitting on shelves for years, could still be OK to eat.

"It lasts a lot longer than we thought," Oscar Pike a food scientist at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, tells DBIS.

That's good news for Leslie Probert, who joins the rising number of people stockpiling food for emergencies. "I'm just writing the date on these cans so that I can remember when they were purchased," she says. "This is a year's supply of food for a family of five."

Scientists have known certain foods like sugar and salt can be stored indefinitely, but wanted to learn the shelf life of other food like dried apples -- stored since 1973 -- tried by taste testers.

"I like to call it the emergency shelf life of the food, food that you'd still be willing to eat in an emergency," Pike says. "It's not as though it were freshly canned, but it's certainly edible."

He says the best foods to store are low in moisture, like wheat and powered milk. But keep all foods away from heat and light to stop it from going stale and losing nutritional value. "All the foods that we've tested have been stored at room temperature or below, so you want to avoid attic and garage storage."

In the study, researchers taste-tested rolled oats that had been stored in sealed containers for 28 years. Three-fourths of tasters considered the oats acceptable to eat in an emergency.


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: dry; foods; oldfood
Go to the site to view a video on this subject.
1 posted on 01/13/2008 2:47:08 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

And in other news, water is wet, and a bright light will be sighted in the eastern sky sometime this morning.


2 posted on 01/13/2008 2:49:56 PM PST by redpoll
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To: blam

Good to know but I’m not sure I want to test my luck. :)


3 posted on 01/13/2008 2:50:42 PM PST by hockeyfan
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To: blam

Dry foods can be stored for a very long time but they must be stored airtight. Bugs will get into them eventually if not sealed.


4 posted on 01/13/2008 2:51:01 PM PST by varyouga ("Rove is some mysterious God of politics & mind control" - DU 10-24-06)
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To: blam
How did we manage to survive before warning labels?
5 posted on 01/13/2008 2:51:35 PM PST by BallyBill (Serial Hit-N-Run poster)
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To: All
Hey Mom...Should I throw this Oatmeal out. None of us eat it and the label says it's 5 years old.

No dear...That's emergency food...

Sounds pretty stupid from here.

6 posted on 01/13/2008 2:59:06 PM PST by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: blam

Fruit cake studies caused this assertion no doubt.


7 posted on 01/13/2008 3:00:31 PM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: BallyBill
How did we manage to survive before warning labels?

Natural foods went bad more predictably and eating them gave you an upset stomach at the most.

With preservatives and animal antibiotics, stronger bacteria thrive and cause nastier poisoning. You can die from many disease strains found in today's meat.

8 posted on 01/13/2008 3:01:23 PM PST by varyouga ("Rove is some mysterious God of politics & mind control" - DU 10-24-06)
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To: Sacajaweau
Sounds pretty stupid from here.

Is it? Not really

I don't think there's ever been wide spread famine in the USA, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

Most food warehousing today uses a "just in time" inventory system, where as items are depleted off the supermarket shelf, replacements are programmed to be sent via long haul or region truck to that store. This has created cost savings in what would be valuable real estate and manpower to warehouse goods locally, especially in big cities and suburbs.

What would happen if terrorsits struck an area with a dirty bomb or a bioligical agent? Would the feds shut down access into or out of a metropolitan area to prevent spread of a contagious agent, say small pox? You bet they would!

How long would the food last in that area if the large scale regional warehouses couldn't be accessed? A week, maybe.

That old oatmeal might not be so bad in that case.

Is this scenario likely? No. But you should always be prepared. I know my family and I could survive on our own almost indefinetly, as we live on a farm. Food would surely get boring, but we could survive.

9 posted on 01/13/2008 3:14:05 PM PST by Alas Babylon!
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To: blam
Ugh? The military has been doing this for over a hundred years. I inspected foods for palatability in the middle 1970’s that was produced during the Korean War. We had grits that had more travel miles than Henry Kissinger...from the US, to Wheelus AFB back to CONUS. Any military man that has done a Class 9 inspection can tell you the results of this study.
10 posted on 01/13/2008 3:20:19 PM PST by vetvetdoug
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To: blam

Hmmm. And here I thought that if the label said “best before 12/12/07, that it was perfectly good on 12/11/07, but spoilded on 12/13/07.

This headline writer needs a good slap.


11 posted on 01/13/2008 3:24:29 PM PST by SampleMan
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To: blam

He could have just used my kitchen cabinets.

Even my rotation schedule is out of date.

As long as it’s not furry it’s OK.


12 posted on 01/13/2008 3:26:11 PM PST by PeteB570 (NRA - Life member and Black Rifle owner)
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To: vetvetdoug

I’ve always wondered about that. When I was a kid in the 70’s we had some C-rations in the garage that were at least 20 years old that we ate. The ham and beans were quite tasty, but things like crackers were just terrible. They still had cigarettes in the accessory packs.


13 posted on 01/13/2008 3:42:26 PM PST by boop (Democracy is the theory that the people get the government they deserve, good and hard.)
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To: blam
I recently made a chestnut souffle with a can of chestnut paste that we took from my wife's aunt's cupboard who died in 1990.

I have watermelon pickle in the fridge that the dead lady across the street made 3-4 years ago and hot pepper jelly that my mother made long before she died in 2001.

In fact, I could produce a meal entirely of dead people's food. I've got frozen trout that my neighbor caught, my dead neighbor, and I have a box of Nilla Wafers that we bought for my father-in-law who died in '93.

I pride myself on cooking meals from dented cans and "managers special" finds in produce and meat.

My only question is, where's the day old fish and dented beer?

14 posted on 01/13/2008 3:45:32 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: blam

There is a lot of info including food storage here-http://waltonfeed.com/sitemap.html


15 posted on 01/13/2008 3:46:58 PM PST by matthew fuller (Fred Thompson/ John Bolton 2008)
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To: boop
" They still had cigarettes in the accessory packs."

I would probably avoid a prophylactic that's older than me.

16 posted on 01/13/2008 3:52:14 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: blam

When I served in the Marines back in the early 1980s, I had C-rations that I’m pretty sure were canned back when Bing Crosby was still on the Hit Parade and Elvis was a truck-driver.


17 posted on 01/13/2008 3:54:09 PM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 24 days away from outliving Nicolette Larson)
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To: billorites
"In fact, I could produce a meal entirely of dead people's food."

That's funny.

18 posted on 01/13/2008 4:30:04 PM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: varyouga

I believe that meat does not generally last that long. However many types of dried and canned foods in reality have nearly unlimited shelf lives. The dried foods last long times as long as they are kept dry, and are insect free. For many canned foods off tastes from the metal cans are more of an issue than spoilage, as long as the container is kept sealed.

I remember having some people freak after I told them that I had brought quart jars of apple sauce that was 15 years old. It still had vacuum, so it was good.


19 posted on 01/13/2008 6:04:04 PM PST by Fraxinus (My opinion worth what you paid.)
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To: Alas Babylon!

I store up every fall for the NY winter and buy sales the rest of the year. But there’s no 5 year old food in that cupboard.


20 posted on 01/13/2008 7:21:45 PM PST by Sacajaweau ("The Cracker" will be renamed "The Crapper")
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To: Alas Babylon!

How long would the food last in that area if the large scale regional warehouses couldn’t be accessed? A week, maybe.

That old oatmeal might not be so bad in that case.<<<

In San Diego, during the 1960’s, they said the town had a 3 day supply of food in the grocery warehouses...........IF the Government took control of it instantly and doled it out.

And that you must be prepared for the Gov to get organized, so they could pass it out.

Plus, then there about 2 main hiways into San Diego, one from Los Angeles and the other I-8 to El Centro.

It would be easy to stop the new supplies from reaching there.

In the late 1970’s there was a big Truckers strike, then I lived near Kingman, Arizona.

There was one very large Safeway Store and several smaller markets.

I walked into Safeway and the shelves were bare.

If they had a case of cereal, you could buy ONE box.

It was one of each item, with only the bare basics available.

The manager was attempting to haul enough food from the Las Vegas Warehouse of Safeway, to feed 15,000 to 20,000 people, in a Pick up truck.

When I hear talk of a Truck strike, I go food shopping, yes, I have been told that I was nuts, but nothing erases the memory a huge store with NOTHING on the shelves and only a few cases near the checkout stands.

I think it will not take much to make a town want a shipment of food and wish they had stored more, under the bed.


21 posted on 01/13/2008 8:44:35 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1886546/posts?page=4972#4972 45 Item Communist Manifesto)
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To: milford421; DAVEY CROCKETT

Ping.


22 posted on 01/13/2008 8:45:27 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1886546/posts?page=4972#4972 45 Item Communist Manifesto)
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To: matthew fuller

http://waltonfeed.com/sitemap.html

I love seeing their link, they are one of the few companies that I have ever dealt with, that I was completely happy.

Shopping in Kingman, is expensive for food, I can buy the basics from Walton, pay the shipping, have it delivered to my living room, and save money.

Wait till you open their bag of Oatmeal, it was the first time in years that I had smelled it, the brown sugar is another that smells so good and fresh, that you are munching as you empty the bags.

There is, when you open the catalog, a page called “Read my Label”, I learned more about what was in some of the foods from there, then in 50 years of being a wife.

Smile, no, not connected to them, found them on the internet, checked to see if it was used by the Mormons, as they do know about storing food and became a happy customer.


23 posted on 01/13/2008 8:52:12 PM PST by nw_arizona_granny (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1886546/posts?page=4972#4972 45 Item Communist Manifesto)
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To: blam; HungarianGypsy

If I’m going to store something for any amount of time, I put it in canning jars and use a canning lid to seal it. No processing for dry goods, but stuff like popcorn keeps very well when sealed in an airtight container. Plastic doesn’t cut it.


24 posted on 01/14/2008 3:28:20 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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